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'''Medical Subject Headings''' ('''MeSH''') is a huge [[controlled vocabulary]] (or [[metadata (computing)|metadata]] system) for the purpose of [[indexing]] journal articles and books in the life sciences. Created and updated by the [[United States National Library of Medicine]] (NLM), it is used by the [[Medline]] article database and by NLM's catalog of book holdings. MeSH can be browsed and downloaded free of charge on the internet; a printed version is published once a year.
+
'''Medical Subject Headings''' ('''MeSH''') is a huge [[controlled vocabulary]] (or [[metadata (computing)|metadata]] system) for the purpose of [[index (publishing)|indexing]] journal articles and books in the life sciences. Created and updated by the [[United States National Library of Medicine]] (NLM), it is used by the [[MEDLINE]] article database and by NLM's catalog of book holdings. MeSH can be browsed and downloaded free of charge on the Internet; a printed version is published once a year.
   
 
The vocabulary and its supporting [[informatics]] systems were designed to be used both by indexing professionals and by medical staff with various degrees of computer experience. Using the vocabulary in support of database searches with the goal of scientific research often requires the help of specialized subject [[librarian]]s.
 
The vocabulary and its supporting [[informatics]] systems were designed to be used both by indexing professionals and by medical staff with various degrees of computer experience. Using the vocabulary in support of database searches with the goal of scientific research often requires the help of specialized subject [[librarian]]s.
MeSH has a strong clinical bent, making non-clinical searches, such as those being done to support epidemiological studies, more difficult than the norm.
 
   
  +
MeSH has a strong clinical bent, making non-clinical searches, such as those being done to support epidemiological studies, more difficult than the norm.
  +
[[Image:MeSH-example.svg|frame|hierarchical relationships in MeSH 2005: ''stomach cancer'' and all of its broader terms]]
 
The [[2005]] version of MeSH contains a total of 22,568 subject headings, also known as ''descriptors''. Most of these are accompanied by a short definition, links to related descriptors, and a list of synonyms or very similar terms (known as ''entry terms''). Because of these synonym lists, MeSH can also be viewed as a [[thesaurus]].
 
The [[2005]] version of MeSH contains a total of 22,568 subject headings, also known as ''descriptors''. Most of these are accompanied by a short definition, links to related descriptors, and a list of synonyms or very similar terms (known as ''entry terms''). Because of these synonym lists, MeSH can also be viewed as a [[thesaurus]].
   
 
The descriptors are arranged in a [[hierarchy]]. A given descriptor may appear at several places in the hierarchy, similar to [[Wikipedia:Categorization|Wikipedia's category system]].
 
The descriptors are arranged in a [[hierarchy]]. A given descriptor may appear at several places in the hierarchy, similar to [[Wikipedia:Categorization|Wikipedia's category system]].
   
In addition to the descriptor hierarchy, MeSH contains a small number of standard ''qualifiers'' (also known as ''subheadings''), which can be added to descriptors to narrow down the topic. For example, "Measles" is a descriptor and "epidemology" is a qualifier; "Measles/epidemology" describes the subheading of epidemological articles about Measles. The "epidemiology" qualifier can be added to all other disease descriptors. Not all descriptor/qualifier combinations are allowed since some of them may be meaningless. In all there are 83 different qualifiers.
+
In addition to the descriptor hierarchy, MeSH contains a small number of standard ''qualifiers'' (also known as ''subheadings''), which can be added to descriptors to narrow down the topic. For example, "Measles" is a descriptor and "epidemiology" is a qualifier; "Measles/epidemiology" describes the subheading of epidemiological articles about Measles. The "epidemiology" qualifier can be added to all other disease descriptors. Not all descriptor/qualifier combinations are allowed since some of them may be meaningless. In all there are 83 different qualifiers.
   
In [[Medline]], every journal article is indexed with some 10-15 headings or subheadings, with one or two of them designated as ''major'' and marked with an asterisk. When performing a search in Medline, entry terms are automatically translated into the corresponding descriptors. Furthermore, by default all the descriptors below the given one in the hierarchy are included in the search.
+
In [[MEDLINE]], every journal article is indexed with some 10-15 headings or subheadings, with one or two of them designated as ''major'' and marked with an asterisk. When performing a MEDLINE search, entry terms are automatically translated into the corresponding descriptors. Furthermore, by default all the descriptors below the given one in the hierarchy are included in the search.
   
In addition to the descriptors, MeSH also contains some 139,000 ''Supplementary Concept Records''. These do not belong to the controlled vocabulary as such and are not used for indexing Medline articles; instead they enlarge the thesaurus and contain links to the closest fitting descriptor to be used in a Medline search. Many of these records describe chemical substances.
+
In addition to the descriptors, MeSH also contains some 139,000 ''Supplementary Concept Records''. These do not belong to the controlled vocabulary as such and are not used for indexing MEDLINE articles; instead they enlarge the thesaurus and contain links to the closest fitting descriptor to be used in a MEDLINE search. Many of these records describe chemical substances.
   
 
MeSH has been translated into numerous other languages and allows retrieval of documents from different languages.
 
MeSH has been translated into numerous other languages and allows retrieval of documents from different languages.
   
 
==Toplevel categories==
 
==Toplevel categories==
The toplevel categories are:
+
The toplevel categories in the MeSH descriptor hierarchy are:
* [[Anatomy]] [A]
+
*[[Anatomy]] [A]
* [[Organisms]] [B]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A01|Body+Regions}} --- body regions
* [[Diseases]] [C]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A02|Musculoskeletal+System}} --- [[musculoskeletal system]]
* [[Chemicals]] and Drugs [D]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A03|Digestive+System}} --- [[digestive system]]
* Analytical, [[Diagnostic]] and [[Therapeutic]] Techniques and Equipment [E]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A04|Respiratory+System}} --- [[respiratory system]]
* [[Psychiatry]] and [[Psychology]] [F]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A05|Urogenital+System}} --- [[urogenital system]]
* [[Biological sciences|Biological Sciences]] [G]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A06|Endocrine+System}} --- [[endocrine system]]
* [[Physical sciences|Physical Sciences]] [H]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A07|Cardiovascular+System}} --- [[cardiovascular system]]
* [[Anthropology]], [[Education]], [[Sociology]] and Social Phenomena [I]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A08|Nervous+System}} --- [[nervous system]]
* Technology and [[Food]] and [[Beverages]] [J]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A09|Sense+Organs}} --- [[sense organs]]
* [[Humanities]] [K]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A10|Tissues}} --- [[tissues]]
* [[Information Science]] [L]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A11|Cells}} --- [[cells]]
* Persons [M]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A12|Fluids+and+Secretions}} --- [[fluids]] and [[secretions]]
* [[Health Care]] [N]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A13|Animal+Structures}} --- [[animal]] structures
* [[Geographic]] Locations [Z]
+
** {{MeshNumber|A14|Stomatognathic+System}} --- [[stomatognathic system]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|A15|Hemic+and+Immune+Systems}} --- [[hemic]] and [[immune systems]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|A16|Embryonic+Structures}} --- [[embryonic structures]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|A17|Integumentary+System}} --- [[integumentary system]]
  +
  +
*[[organism]]s [B]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|B01|Animals}} --- [[animals]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|B02|Algae}} --- [[algae]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|B03|Bacteria}} --- [[bacteria]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|B04|Viruses}} --- [[viruses]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|B05|Fungi}} --- [[fungi]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|B06|Plants}} --- [[plants]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|B07|Archaea}} --- [[archaea]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|B08|Mesomycetozoea}} --- [[mesomycetozoea]]
  +
  +
*[[Diseases]] [C]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C01|Bacterial+Infections+and+Mycoses}} --- [[bacterial]] [[infections]] and [[mycoses]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C02|Virus+Diseases}} --- [[virus]] diseases
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C03|Parasitic+Diseases}} --- [[parasitic]] diseases
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C04|Neoplasms}} --- [[neoplasms]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C05|Musculoskeletal+Diseases}} --- [[musculoskeletal]] diseases
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C06|Digestive+System+Diseases}} --- [[digestive system]] diseases
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C07|Stomatognathic+Diseases}} --- [[stomatognathic]] diseases
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C08|Respiratory+Tract+Diseases}} --- [[respiratory tract]] diseases
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C09|Otorhinolaryngologic+Diseases}} --- [[otorhinolaryngologic]] diseases
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C10|Nervous+System+Diseases}} --- [[nervous system]] diseases
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C11|Eye+Diseases}} --- [[eye]] diseases
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C12|Urologic+and+Male+Genital+Diseases}} --- [[urologic]] and [[male genital]] diseases
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C13|Female+Genital+Diseases+and+Pregnancy+Complications}} --- [[female genital]] diseases and [[pregnancy complications]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C14|Cardiovascular+Diseases}} --- [[cardiovascular diseases]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C15|Hemic+and+Lymphatic+Diseases}} --- [[hemic]] and [[lymphatic diseases]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C16|Congenital,+Hereditary,+and+Neonatal+Diseases+and+Abnormalities}} --- [[congenital]], [[hereditary]], and [[neonatal]] diseases and abnormalities
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C17|Skin+and+Connective+Tissue+Diseases}} --- [[skin]] and [[connective tissue]] diseases
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C18|Nutritional+and+Metabolic+Diseases}} --- [[nutritional]] and [[metabolic diseases]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C19|Endocrine+System+Diseases}} --- [[endocrine system]] diseases
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C20|Immune+System+Diseases}} --- [[immune system]] diseases
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C21|Disorders+of+Environmental+Origin}} --- disorders of [[environmental]] origin
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C22|Animal+Diseases}} --- [[animal diseases]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|C23|Pathological+Conditions,+Signs+and+Symptoms}} --- [[pathological]] conditions, [[signs]] and [[symptoms]]
  +
  +
*[[Chemical substance|Chemicals]] and Drugs [D]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D01|Inorganic+Chemicals}} --- [[inorganic chemicals]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D02|Organic+Chemicals}} --- [[organic chemicals]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D03|Heterocyclic+Compounds}} --- [[heterocyclic compounds]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D04|Polycyclic+Compounds}} --- [[polycyclic compounds]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D05|Macromolecular+Substances}} --- [[macromolecular substances]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D06|Hormones,+Hormone+Substitutes,+and+Hormone+Antagonists}} --- [[hormones]], [[hormone substitutes]], and [[hormone antagonists]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D08|Enzymes+and+Coenzymes}} --- [[enzymes]] and [[coenzymes]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D09|Carbohydrates}} --- [[carbohydrates]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D10|Lipids}} --- [[lipids]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D12|Amino+Acids,+Peptides,+and+Proteins}} --- [[amino acids]], [[peptides]], and [[proteins]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D13|Nucleic+Acids,+Nucleotides,+and+Nucleosides}} --- [[nucleic acids]], [[nucleotides]], and [[nucleosides]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D20|Complex+Mixtures}} --- [[complex mixtures]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D23|Biological+Factors}} --- [[biological factors]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D25|Biomedical+and+Dental+Materials}} --- [[biomedical]] and [[dental]] materials
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D26|Pharmaceutical+Preparations}} --- [[pharmaceutical]] preparations
  +
** {{MeshNumber|D27|Chemical+Actions+and+Uses}} --- [[chemical]] actions and uses
  +
  +
*Analytical, [[Diagnostic]] and [[Therapeutic]] Techniques and Equipment [E]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|E01|Diagnosis}} --- [[diagnosis]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|E02|Therapeutics}} --- [[therapeutics]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|E03|Anesthesia+and+Analgesia}} --- [[anesthesia]] and [[analgesia]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|E04|Surgical+Procedures,+Operative}} --- [[surgical procedures]], operative
  +
** {{MeshNumber|E05|Investigative+Techniques}} --- [[investigative techniques]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|E06|Dentistry}} --- [[dentistry]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|E07|Equipment+and+Supplies}} --- [[equipment]] and [[supplies]]
  +
  +
*[[Psychiatry]] and [[Psychology]] [F]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|F01|Behavior+and+Behavior+Mechanisms}} --- [[behavior]] and [[behavior mechanisms]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|F02|Psychological+Phenomena+and+Processes}} --- [[psychological phenomena]] and processes
  +
** {{MeshNumber|F03|Mental+Disorders}} --- [[mental disorders]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|F04|Behavioral+Disciplines+and+Activities}} --- [[behavioral disciplines]] and activities
  +
  +
*[[Biological sciences|Biological Sciences]] [G]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G01|Biological+Sciences}} --- [[biological sciences]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G02|Health+Occupations}} --- [[health occupations]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G03|Environment+and+Public+Health}} --- [[Environmental science|environment]] and [[public health]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G04|Biological+Phenomena,+Cell+Phenomena,+and+Immunity}} --- [[biological phenomena]], [[cell phenomena]], and [[immunity]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G05|Genetic+Processes}} --- [[genetic processes]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G06|Biochemical+Phenomena,+Metabolism,+and+Nutrition}} --- [[biochemical phenomena]], [[metabolism]], and [[nutrition]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G07|Physiological+Processes}} --- [[physiological]] processes
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G08|Reproductive+and+Urinary+Physiology}} --- [[reproductive]] and [[urinary]] [[physiology]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G09|Circulatory+and+Respiratory+Physiology}} --- [[circulatory]] and [[respiratory]] [[physiology]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G10|Digestive,+Oral,+and+Skin+Physiology}} --- [[digestive]], [[oral]], and [[skin]] [[physiology]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G11|Musculoskeletal,+Neural,+and+Ocular+Physiology}} --- [[musculoskeletal]], [[neural]], and [[ocular]] [[physiology]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G12|Chemical+and+Pharmacologic+Phenomena}} --- [[chemical]] and [[pharmacologic]] phenomena
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G13|Genetic+Phenomena}} --- [[genetic phenomena]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|G14|Genetic+Structures}} --- [[genetic structures]]
  +
  +
*[[Physical sciences|Physical Sciences]] [H]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|H01|Natural+Sciences}} --- [[natural sciences]]
  +
  +
*[[Anthropology]], [[Education]], [[Sociology]] and Social Phenomena [I]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|I01|Social+Sciences}} --- [[social sciences]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|I02|Education}} --- [[education]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|I03|Human+Activities}} --- [[human activities]]
  +
  +
*Technology and [[Food]] and [[Beverages]] [J]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|J01|Technology,+Industry,+and+Agriculture}} --- [[technology]], [[industry]], and [[agriculture]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|J02|Food+and+Beverages}} --- [[food]] and [[beverages]]
  +
  +
*[[Humanities]] [K]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|K01|Humanities}} --- [[humanities]]
  +
  +
*[[Information Science]] [L]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|L01|Information+Science}} --- [[information science]]
  +
  +
*Persons [M]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|M01|Persons}} --- [[persons]]
  +
  +
*[[Health Care]] [N]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|N01|Population+Characteristics}} --- [[population characteristics]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|N02|Health+Care+Facilities,+Manpower,+and+Services}} --- [[health care facilities]], [[manpower]], and [[services]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|N03|Health+Care+Economics+and+Organizations}} --- [[health care economics]] and [[organizations]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|N04|Health+Services+Administration}} --- [[health services]] [[administration]]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|N05|Health+Care+Quality,+Access,+and+Evaluation}} --- [[health care]] [[quality]], [[access]], and [[evaluation]]
  +
  +
*[[Publication]] Characteristics [V]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|V01|Publication+Components+(Publication+Type)}} --- [[publication components]] (publication type)
  +
** {{MeshNumber|V02|Publication+Formats+(Publication+Type)}} --- [[publication formats]] (publication type)
  +
** {{MeshNumber|V03|Study+Characteristics+(Publication+Type)}} --- [[study characteristics]] (publication type)
  +
** {{MeshNumber|V04|Support+of+Research}} --- support of [[research]]
  +
  +
*[[Geographic]] Locations [Z]
  +
** {{MeshNumber|Z01|Geographic+Locations}} --- [[geographic]] locations
   
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
* [[Medical classification]]
+
*[[Medical classification]]
* [[Controlled vocabulary]]
+
*[[Controlled vocabulary]]
  +
*[[MEDLINE]]
  +
*[[Wikipedia:MeSH]]
   
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
* [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/meshhome.html Medical Subject Headings - Home Page]
+
*[http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/meshhome.html Medical Subject Headings - Home Page]
* Browsing MeSH:
+
*Browsing MeSH:
** [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=mesh Through Entrez]
+
**[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=mesh Through Entrez]
** [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/MBrowser.html MeSH Browser]
+
**[http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/MBrowser.html MeSH Browser]
* [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/topsubscope2005.html List of qualifiers]
+
*[http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/topsubscope2005.html List of qualifiers]
   
[[Category:Bioinformatics]][[Category:Medical research]]
+
[[Category:Bioinformatics]]
  +
[[Category:Medical research]]
 
[[Category:Medical classification]]
 
[[Category:Medical classification]]
  +
  +
[[de:Medical Subject Headings]]
   
 
{{enWP|Medical Subject Headings}}
 
{{enWP|Medical Subject Headings}}

Latest revision as of 08:05, July 31, 2006

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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is a huge controlled vocabulary (or metadata system) for the purpose of indexing journal articles and books in the life sciences. Created and updated by the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM), it is used by the MEDLINE article database and by NLM's catalog of book holdings. MeSH can be browsed and downloaded free of charge on the Internet; a printed version is published once a year.

The vocabulary and its supporting informatics systems were designed to be used both by indexing professionals and by medical staff with various degrees of computer experience. Using the vocabulary in support of database searches with the goal of scientific research often requires the help of specialized subject librarians.

MeSH has a strong clinical bent, making non-clinical searches, such as those being done to support epidemiological studies, more difficult than the norm. File:MeSH-example.svg The 2005 version of MeSH contains a total of 22,568 subject headings, also known as descriptors. Most of these are accompanied by a short definition, links to related descriptors, and a list of synonyms or very similar terms (known as entry terms). Because of these synonym lists, MeSH can also be viewed as a thesaurus.

The descriptors are arranged in a hierarchy. A given descriptor may appear at several places in the hierarchy, similar to Wikipedia's category system.

In addition to the descriptor hierarchy, MeSH contains a small number of standard qualifiers (also known as subheadings), which can be added to descriptors to narrow down the topic. For example, "Measles" is a descriptor and "epidemiology" is a qualifier; "Measles/epidemiology" describes the subheading of epidemiological articles about Measles. The "epidemiology" qualifier can be added to all other disease descriptors. Not all descriptor/qualifier combinations are allowed since some of them may be meaningless. In all there are 83 different qualifiers.

In MEDLINE, every journal article is indexed with some 10-15 headings or subheadings, with one or two of them designated as major and marked with an asterisk. When performing a MEDLINE search, entry terms are automatically translated into the corresponding descriptors. Furthermore, by default all the descriptors below the given one in the hierarchy are included in the search.

In addition to the descriptors, MeSH also contains some 139,000 Supplementary Concept Records. These do not belong to the controlled vocabulary as such and are not used for indexing MEDLINE articles; instead they enlarge the thesaurus and contain links to the closest fitting descriptor to be used in a MEDLINE search. Many of these records describe chemical substances.

MeSH has been translated into numerous other languages and allows retrieval of documents from different languages.

Toplevel categoriesEdit

The toplevel categories in the MeSH descriptor hierarchy are:

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

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